EATON — On Wednesday, April 6, Lewisburg Assistant Police Chief Gary Parker was honored for valor in the line of duty following an incident last year which could have turned out much differently.
Preble County Prosecutor Marty Votel presided over the ceremony held in Parker’s honor.
“Police officers, as we all know, have the hardest job under the sun,” Votel began. “And unfortunately, in today’s day and time it seems that members of our community don’t honor and respect the valor and the sacrifices made by law enforcement. Calls to defund the police echoing across the country still.
“We don’t feel that way in Preble County,” he continued. “In Preble County we respect and honor the contributions of our law enforcement officers. And today we’re here to recognize such valor in the line of duty.”
According to Votel, on April 26 2021, Assistant Chief Parker responded to Dayton Street in Lewisburg on a disorderly call.
“The subject there was uncooperative, she wouldn’t give accurate information about who she was and what she was doing,” Votel said. “And even worse, she wasn’t permitting Assistant Chief Parker to interview other people who were present. She was obstructing his investigation.”
He continued, “After exhibiting a great deal of patience and forbearance, he made the decision — the inevitable one — that he was going to have to place her under arrest, and when he attempted to place her under arrest, she was not having it. She struggled, she resisted. She fought with Assistant Chief Parker. She grabbed his radio off his utility belt and threw it over the deck. She reached for his taser — reached for his gun.”
During the extended struggle, according to Votel, the woman was able to get Parker’s badge off of his shirt and “she stabbed him at least three times in the face and head with the pin that affixed the badge to his uniform.”
“He was able to call for backup,” Votel said. “Other officers arrived, and eventually after further struggle she was subdued, tased and arrested. It was a harrowing incident.”
“Assistant Chief Parker showed an incredible amount of restraint,” Votel continued during the ceremony. “This easily could have turned into a justified police shooting with the use of lethal force on the subject, with the subject having reached for his gun and attempting to use lethal force herself.
“But Gary kept his cool throughout, showed restraint throughout, and at all times placed her safety and well-being really above his own safety and well-being. It was an extraordinary demonstration. of restraint and professionalism under very stressful circumstances.”
Parker has been a law enforcement officer for 38 years, according to Votel, and has served the people of Lewisburg for the past 15 of those 38 years. “And he has done so extremely well and with extreme honor,” he noted. “Gary, it is truly my honor to be chosen to present this these awards to you today. We have a valor pin that you can wear on your uniform so that every day you can be reminded of your great performance on April 26, 2021. And I would also on behalf of Chief McGee and Lewisburg Police Department and the citizens, present you with this certificate of valor so you can hang it on your wall and always be assured of the esteem at which you are held by all your fellow officers, prosecutors and citizens,” Votel said.
Parker thanked everyone in attendance, while others said they could now joke about him being “beaten up by a girl.”
“Since I’ve known him, Assistant Chief Parker has been highly professional. Everybody else’s life is more important than his own. He acted very bravely that day and with a lot of valor,” LPD Chief Rick McGee said. “And unfortunately, he got beat up by a girl,” McGee said, noting it could be joked about now.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr